SALEM – A new state audit of Oregon’s Office of Minority, Women and Emerging Small Business (OMWESB) recommends several improvements to make the certification process faster and more consistent for its applicants. The audit also addresses the challenges of a small staff with a high workload.
As of May 1, 2012, there was a backlog of 371 business applications for approximately 460 state business certifications, with only three certification specialists to handle them. The audit found that the steps for processing applications could be improved to reduce the variance in the timeliness of certifications and some inconsistencies in staff decisions.
“OMWESB certification opens the door to so many opportunities for these small businesses,” said Secretary of State Kate Brown. “That’s why it is so important that we provide strategies to improve the process of certification that in turn helps these businesses get up and running putting Oregonians back to work.”
Among its recommendations, the audit called for management to evaluate the necessity and priority of its tasks, review its work balancing and work flows, develop and update policies and procedures, simplify its application forms, and develop and use performance information to improve certification efforts.
The report, including the agency response, can be found at www.sos.state.or.us/audits.